Latin journalist targeted in Santo Domingo hacking raids – Vows to keep probing to bitter end!

Not so long ago, the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago was rocked with a situation where Police raided a Journalist for a story back in December, Barbados Free Press blogged on it and VOB carried a response yesterday morning where TT officers essentially declared their actions are above reproach yet the Republic’s PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar over the weekend made it abundantly clear how independent media is essential to democracy, at least this was her official stance?

Now, in a similar move against Latin Online Media – the Dominican Republic‘s Schutz-Staffel officers also closed in on a story which had bearing on their illustrious Fuhrer President Leonel Fernandez;-

Acento.com.do reports that on the morning of Friday 10 February, police raided houses belonging to the journalist Guillermo Gomez, including a villa in Casa de Campo and the offices of ElSiglo.21.com, an online newspaper. They were apparently looking for clues in the hacking case that affected the e-mail accounts of the First Lady and other government officials. The police were also looking for his son, Jose Angel Gomez Canaan.

(Guillermo Gomez) {informed colleagues how their} government was trying to prevent him from publishing a series of reports on his online newspaper, El Siglo21, about alleged acts of corruption by government officials... {IMAGE VIA: La Informacion}

Gomez stated that the government was trying to prevent him from publishing a series of reports on his online newspaper, El Siglo21, about alleged acts of corruption by government officials and about Leonel Fernandez’s FunGlode account. He warned that he would not be quiet about this information and would prefer to be killed rather than silenced.

He said that another six journalists had the same information, but has chosen to remain silent. Nevertheless he stated that it was an attack on freedom of expression.

National District prosecutor Yeni Berence Reynoso, who ordered the raids, stated in a short press release that the raids were part of an investigation into complaints from several citizens whose e-mail accounts were allegedly hacked. The note went on to say that it was not an attack on freedom of expression and that the Public Prosecutor’s office, as a guarantor of Rights, reiterated its total respect for the freedom of the press, freedom of expression and exchange of ideas.

ElSiglo.21.com went offline at 8am on Friday morning after its server was disconnected {EDITOR’S NOTE: The Latin Online Media remains off}. The police took information and printed documents from his homes, and they took several computers and documents from the offices of TV station Aeromundo, where Gomez is a producer and host. Upon his arrival at the Aeromundo offices, veteran journalist Radhames Gomez Pepin said that events of this type had not been seen since Joaquin Balaguer’s repressive 12-year government.

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